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Virtual reality’s popularity is increasing. Soon it will be used by people from all walks of life. Today, virtual reality is mainly associated with gaming and educational purposes. Moving forward we will see consumers using virtual reality with social media, shopping, and even buying a home. For our expo project, we will be taking advantage of the growing popularity of VR and implementing a common need: House tours. Homebuyers will almost always wish to look inside of a home before they decide to rent or purchase the property Our project, VR Home Tours will supply this need while marketing virtual reality to the mainstream audience.
Marketing New Realities by Cathy Hackl and Samantha G. Wolfe is a guide to advertising virtual reality and augmented reality to consumers. Virtual reality can introduce people to more hands on education, empathy, and an epic gaming experience. Yet, virtual reality can be used in a wide variety of ways. VR Home Tours helps to increase virtual reality’s quickly growing popularity. By marketing and learning to market virtual reality using the tips in the book, VR Home Tours can become a part of people’s everyday lives.
The book lists some questions that potential virtual reality marketers should ask themselves while they begin to advertise their product. These questions tied into to our project and how we can answer them to make it much more appealing and engaging to our audience. The questions that I feel can best be used in our own project are, “Is this experience something my target audience would want to do?”, “what do I want my customers to feel about my brand?”, and “How does it make them feel about my brand?” (Location 1172). In our project, we can consider some of these ideas and include them in our project so that we can be prepared to meet the needs of our audience or consumers during the expo. We must put ourselves in the mindset of a person who wants to try our simulation and we must deliver results to their pleasing to the best of our ability.
In the brainstorming process of our project, we had to ask ourselves, what can we produce given our abilities and resources. Throughout our years of highschool, we each learned how to use Autodesk Revit and 3D Max. Revit is a program that creates 3D home models. This was the program that we all were pretty good at. Since the theme of our project would be homes, we thought of something that most people will need to do if they are looking to purchase or rent a home: go on home tours. To meet this demand, we decided to supply our VR home Tours project. “Consumer demand, high-quality devices and market conditions have all aligned to make VR and AR the next major advancements in the tech world” (Location 123). In our project we will aim to make home touring faster for consumers, while making virtual reality more mainstream.
In order to market our product more effectively, did some research. We had to find out who our main audience would be and why. “But without the ability to read and manipulate the minds of consumers, marketers have to use research, see what our consumers and competitors are doing, and make a choice” (Location 464). 60% of all home buyers are millenials, and 72% of adults use technology. Everyone wants to find a quicker way to do almost anything. A VR Home tours takes only about 15 to 20. Given these statistics, VR Home Tours will implement technology with an everyday need of consumers.
To make our idea come to life, we needed to figure out what materials and rendering software we would use. Things like the cost, quality, and quantity of each material and software needed is an important part of almost any virtual reality simulation that one would wish to market. “Digital audiences have high expectations for how a brand should engage with them” (Location 1190). High quality headsets, a gaming laptop with lots of storage, great sensors, and a good coding and rendering program is required to make a virtual reality simulation appealing. For VR Home tours we used Unity, Revit, 3D Max and Steam as our rendering software. The materials we used are the HTC Vive headset and sensors and Gaming Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop. Marketing a quality product using quality and up to date materials will keep and bring in new consumers.
Creating and testing prototypes helps us to understand what we must alter in the project so that it can reach its full potential. We do this so that we can make the project more appealing and remove errors that may arise while building. “We say: dive in. Test the latest gear. Create content and design VR environments” (Location 1202). Testing VR includes altering the project and taking into consideration the ideal end result for consumers. Everything must meet, and even go beyond their expectations.
We must prepare ourselves to meet consumers expectations while marketing our product. Creating an interactive and aesthetic project table is key. “Bring your product/service to life. Consumers engage not only because of what’s being promoted, but because they have the chance to interact with your product in a new and different way” (Location 1208).
Engaging our audience with an interesting pitch and description of our project is a key part of our project as well. Letting them try it out and recording their likes and dislikes can help us in the future if we choose to continue this project.
In the future, we will need to use data from this project to help improve our project so we can possibly make our number of consumers much larger than it is. We will have to ask more questions, get more mentors, market on more platforms, and we may even have to update our materials. “…will change rapidly, as will consumer attitudes, making the discussion of total audience lower on the agenda. It will be more of a question of what VR/AR experiences your brand needs…”(Location 303). We will need to focus on what we need to add or remove from our project to gain more of an audience. The main focus should be improving the project.
In conclusion, our book really helps us to know how to go about marketing our project. It helps us understand why virtual reality is an important advancement in technology. VR Home tours is just one of many programs that can help us live in a more efficient and technology based world. VR Home tours will help gain more opportunities for real estate agents while giving consumers a new and exciting way to do an everyday task. This project helps virtual reality become mainstream and we are proud to be a part of this movement.
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